What Is Nonpareil Capers?

Juliet D'cruz

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What Is Nonpareil Capers

Are you curious to know what is nonpareil capers? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about nonpareil capers in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is nonpareil capers?

When it comes to culinary delights, it’s the little things that often make a big difference. Nonpareil capers, those tiny, tangy, and vibrant green buds, have been adding a burst of flavor to dishes for centuries. Often used as a garnish or condiment, these little flavor powerhouses have earned their place in the culinary world. In this blog, we will explore what nonpareil capers are, their origins, culinary uses, and why they are cherished by chefs and food enthusiasts alike.

What Is Nonpareil Capers?

Nonpareil capers are the smallest and most prized variety of capers, derived from the caper bush (Capparis spinosa). These delicate buds are picked by hand just before they bloom into flowers, ensuring they retain their tender texture and bright green color. Native to Mediterranean regions, nonpareil capers have been cherished for centuries for their unique flavor profile, which combines briny, tangy, and slightly peppery notes.

Culinary Uses Of Nonpareil Capers

Nonpareil capers are a versatile ingredient in the culinary world, loved for their distinctive flavor and ability to elevate a wide range of dishes. Here are some popular culinary uses:

  1. Sauces and Dressings: Nonpareil capers are often used to add a zesty kick to sauces, dressings, and condiments. They work wonderfully in tartar sauce, remoulade, and salsa verde, among others.
  2. Pasta and Salads: A sprinkling of nonpareil capers can bring an irresistible tanginess to pasta dishes, salads, and grain bowls.
  3. Fish and Seafood: Capers complement fish and seafood dishes exceptionally well. They pair beautifully with smoked salmon, grilled fish, and anchovies.
  4. Mediterranean Delicacies: Nonpareil capers are a key ingredient in classic Mediterranean dishes like Chicken Piccata, Scaloppini, and Puttanesca sauce.

Origins Of Nonpareil Capers

The caper bush, from which nonpareil capers originate, is native to regions around the Mediterranean, including Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. These regions provide the perfect conditions for caper cultivation, as the bushes thrive in arid, rocky environments with plenty of sunlight.

Harvesting And Preparation

Harvesting nonpareil capers is a delicate and labor-intensive process. Farmers pick the buds by hand, with extreme care to avoid damaging the tender buds or the caper bush. The buds are then cured in salt to preserve their unique flavor and texture. After curing, they are packed in brine or vinegar for commercial distribution.

Why Are Nonpareil Capers Special?

Nonpareil capers are treasured for their exceptional quality, small size, and intense flavor. Their name, “nonpareil,” translates to “having no equal,” which perfectly captures their uniqueness and culinary significance. Chefs and cooks value nonpareil capers for their ability to add complexity and brightness to dishes without overwhelming other flavors.

Health Benefits

In addition to their delightful taste, nonpareil capers also offer several health benefits. They are low in calories and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Capers are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in digestion due to their high fiber content.


Nonpareil capers are a testament to the incredible flavors that can be found in nature’s tiniest offerings. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or an amateur cook, incorporating these vibrant green buds into your culinary creations can take your dishes to new heights. Their tangy, briny punch adds a burst of flavor to a variety of dishes, making them a cherished ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and beyond. As you explore the world of nonpareil capers, you’ll discover their unmatched versatility and the delightful enhancement they bring to a wide range of culinary delights.

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What Is The Difference Between Nonpareil Capers And Regular Capers?

Capote Capers are larger than Nonpareil Capers and have a firmer texture. They are harvested from the caper bush before they have fully matured, which gives them a more robust flavor. Nonpareil Capers, on the other hand, are smaller and have a softer texture.

What Are Nonpareil Capers Used For?

A smaller caper that packs a punch, B&G® Nonpareil Capers are great thrown into salads and Italian casseroles, or used as a garnish for a hint of flavor.

What Do Capers Taste Like?

The taste of a caper is reminiscent of the lemony tang and brininess of green olives, but with a smack of floral tartness all their own. Because they’re packed in brine, capers also boast a bold salty, savory flavor profile.

What Does Pareil Mean In Capers?

“Non-Pareil”, pronounced [non-puh-rel], is indicative of the size of a caper- usually about the size of a peppercorn. The word is translated from French and means “having no equal; peerless”.

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